The government must set PC reuse targets to make sure WEEE regulations are truly effective, Computer Aid has said.
The charity, which supplies refurbished computers to Third World countries, welcomed the government’s support for the WEEE directive but said much more needed to be done.
The directive, which stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods.
Reuse targets need to be set so that PC producers and equipment treatment facilities reuse rather than recycle equipment, Computer Aid said.
Tony Roberts, the charity’s founder, said “the intention of the regulations has failed as there is no evidence to show that businesses and [producers] are prioritising reuse”.
“To ensure this is carried out, the government needs to put in place measurements and targets for reuse of working equipment, checks need to be implemented to ensure this is always the preferred method of handling electrical waste, and the benefits of reuse over recycling actively promoted,” he said.
Computer Aid also called for rules to be tightened on the exports of WEEE, so that equipment that has not been tested or does not work is not sent to other continents. Ghana, Nigeria and China have been hotspots for dumping hazardous electrical equipment, it said.
Lastly, consumers need to be much better educated, the charity said, to ensure they are fully aware of the options for disposal of their unwanted electrical equipment.